Coop Cloud

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Planning a Co-operative Cloud

Can we build a co-operative cloud service, what would it look like? Join up in #coopcloud on Slack.

See also Nextcloud, (Wortley Hall 2017)

Links

OpenStack

Hardware

  • Very-PC — Sheffield based, try to be as green as possible, not much Linux experience but very supportive
  • Broadberry — London based

Data Centres

  • Avensys] — Shefield based, very helpful, money for electricity goes to Good Energy, 24 hour access, cycling distance for Webarchitects techies to swap out failed disks etc

Notes from a discusion at Wortley Hall in 2016

Chris (Webarchitects) and Alex (Outlandish) chatted about this.

  • A real space for Cooperatives to run their own infrastructure.
  • Briefly considered what the USP for cooperatives running cloud stuff.
    • As well as the ethics of "keeping it in the family" what are the technical advantages?
    • What would be the sell to the rest of the tech community at large?
  • Seems a minimum would be:
    • Some kind of VM service
    • Some kind of relational database service
    • Some kind of S3 compatible large scale storage
  • There is certainly software in this category of "create your own cloud" - for example OpenStack.
    • Looking into this seems a wise start.
  • Should prioritise "code as infrastructure" and encourage people to use tools like Salt/Ansible/Terraform to provision infrastructure which they keep under close version control.
    • Ride the wave of popularity around this stuff in the industry
    • Avoid development costs of creating a complex user interface for the code from the offset though this might have to come later.
      • Obviously Outlandish have a deal of experience around this UI stuff but feels this should be a "headless" offer to devops people first.
    • Bring a "developer first" tool to allow uptake
    • Drop in plugins for Ansible/Terraform or AWS compatiable APIs that would enable existing infrastructure as code stuff to be dropped in with supreme developer ease into existing projects to drive developer adoption.
    • Chris says Web Architects have a simple infrastructure as code offer which is simple keeping DNS records in GitLab
    • Alex said Outlandish use Ansible for provisioning pretty extensively because it was a good gateway for people who hadn't used anything before into this space
      • Noted he'd love to just change a few variables around and have the infrastructure on CoopCloud rather than AWS
  • We should try for an MVP of the VM/DB/S3 offer, try it internally and see what the commercial viability is.
  • Hardware should obviously be looked at, consider commodity based simple chassis (a la the "big boys") versus expensive specialist hardware like blade servers etc.
    • Because of hardware limitations the service should transparently build capacity off other commercial clouds so the user never experiences this capacity problem.
  • There is probably an opportunity to get in on the containerisation stuff while it is in its infancy and make cooperatives a leader in this space in the UK.